For most large purchases, like buying a car or an appliance, you probably do research to find out how much the product costs and compare it to other options. However, when it comes to health care, many people are unaware of how much their care costs, and they may experience sticker shock when the bill comes.
Health cost calculators are one way that patients can get an idea of cost ahead of time. Health plans provide health cost calculators to patients to help set expectations and allow patients to explore alternatives if needed.
Approximately 60 percent of personal bankruptcies are from unpaid medical bills, so it is important for patients to be aware of how much their health care costs. Health cost calculators are usually available on your health plan’s website and can provide a cost estimate for specific procedures or treatments.
Make informed decisions
Knowing ahead of time how much your health care costs can help you make more informed decisions. Keep in mind that in health care you do not always get what you pay for, so more expensive care isn’t necessarily better. You can use the Community Checkup to see how health care providers score on quality care.
As you decide on a treatment or procedure, know which hospitals are in your insurance network, and make sure you can afford your plan’s deductibles. Then use your plan’s health cost calculator to estimate the cost of your care. If necessary, talk to your health plan or provider about appropriate alternatives that may be less expensive or require less treatment.
Health cost calculators are an important tool for the savvy health care shopper. If you or a loved one are deciding on care, use your health plan’s calculator to make a smart decision.